Candy Cane Cookies - A Christmas Tradition

Candy Cane Cookies – A Christmas Tradition

The original recipe for the Betty Crocker Candy Cane cookies so many of us grew up with (not the one in cookbooks now!).

There is no single Christmas food item that says Christmas to me like a candy cane cookie. My mom regularly made these at Christmastime and they are still one of my favorite Christmas memories.  Candy cane cookies are fun to make and have a tendency to turn even the grinchiest frown into a smile.

My first attempt at making these Betty Crocker cookies was several years ago and I was disappointed because they did not taste how I remembered them. I decided that this year I would figure out how to replicate the taste of my mom’s cookies. It turned out to be easier than I thought.  After searching the Internet I discovered that Betty Crocker has changed its recipe for Candy Cane Cookies.  However, the old recipe still lives on through old cookbooks and the Internet! The following recipe is primarily from the old Betty Crocker version, but I used butter instead of shortening.

Candy Cane Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbs red food coloring (will vary)
  • 2 tbs crushed candy canes*
  • 2 tbs granulated sugar


  1. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Stir together candy/cane and granulated sugar; set aside.
  3. Mix butter, powdered sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla thoroughly.  Mix flour and salt and then stir into the wet mixture.
  4. Divide dough in half and blend red food coloring into one half.
  5. Roll a 4-inch strip from each color. For smooth, even strips, roll them back and forth on a lightly floured board. Place strips side by side, press lightly together and twist like rope.  Place on ungreased baking sheet. Curve top down to form the handle of the candy cane.
  6. Bake 9 minutes, until lightly browned.
  7. Immediately sprinkle candy cane/sugar mixture over cookies. Remove from cookie sheet to wire cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
*Hint: Candy canes are easier to crush after they have been frozen.

These cookies are a fun tradition.  Is this recipe part of your childhood memories? Feel free to leave a comment. Share and let’s talk about it.

The original recipe for the Betty Crocker Candy Cane cookies so many of us grew up with (not the one in cookbooks now!).

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Auntie Pamela says

    Candy cane cookies bring back such great memories from my childhood. Actually, I have forgotten about them, but I plan on making some now! Thanks for helping bring back such cherished memories.

  2. These would be the star of the cookie platter for sure. I think I will be trying these. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I am sharing this post on facebook so I can go back to it easy this weekend! Thank you! Looks like fun for the boys and I. 🙂

  4. Super cute! I think I’ll be making these for the dessert table I’m making for my husband’s office. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. These are so cool

  6. Those came out awesome!! I can make plain old drop cookies pretty well, but anything fancy and they end up resembling blobs. But these don’t look terribly hard, and they’re so cute!

  7. Lori Schult says

    I used to help my mom make these as I was growing up. Our oldest daughter’s birthday is on December 17th, and I made these every year for her birthday treats for school! Now, my daughter is a third-grade teacher, and I have continued my tradition for her by making her birthday treats for her class each year that she teaches! I have the original Betty Crocker Cooky Book and this is the exact recipe…thank you!!

  8. Lauren Culver says

    I think this is the recipe/taste I have been seeking for years from a childhood memory (it’s gotta be!). I will post again after my annual cookie bake for kids. Thanks

    • I hope you love it!

    • Lauren Culver says

      These cookies do not disappoint. They are buttery tasting shortbread cookies with just the right hint of peppermint. Their flavor is matched by their visual appeal; festive and pretty! Thank you Janice for reuniting me with these cookies! I will add these to my annual must have cookie list.

  9. I was just telling my boyfriend yesterday that I loved these as a child and even though I have a Betty Crocker cookbook, I couldn’t replicate how my Mom made these when I was a child! She isn’t with us any longer to ask, but I think you’ve helped me with that!! I can’t wait to try out the recipe! Funny how this popped into my search for a different cookie. Thank you Mom!! And thank you for posting this!
    Merry Christmas!!

  10. I was raised on this recipe, and make every year for my boys and husband, infact, they are my boys’ favorite cookies! :)☺

  11. Catherine Foley says

    Maybe I’m missing where it says, but how many cookies does this make?

  12. Thank you for sharing your recipe sister!! Our Christmas party at Church is coming up on the 11th and I needed to find a cute Christmas Cookie to make. I stumbled upon your wonderful cookies, and I too remember eating these as a child!! YUMMY!! Thanks again!! God Bless and Merry Christmas!!

  13. I’ve been making these cookies for 43 years. My family looks forward to them every year. I can’t imagine a Christmas without them.

  14. Thanks for sharing Christmas wouldn’t be the same with out the real o.g.( original gangsta) of Christmas candy cane cookies. It took me back when I was little and made these with my family. 🙂

  15. brandee gorby says

    I have a question. is the dough suppose to be really soft? it is hard for me to shape them into the candy cane because of how soft it is and mine didn’t bake as soft looking as yours did. And just want to make sure theres no baking powder or soda in them. I also only got about a down and half out of the recipe, is that accurate?


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